Seti suggests asking yourself why you are having such a strong reaction to this new side of your guy. "If you are just bothered by the fact that he acts differently, but it doesn't have an impact on you, then you need to back off and allow your boyfriend some freedom and flexibility to adapt himself to different situations. But if he treats you differently and that upsets you, talk to him ahead of time and let him know how you feel and why it bothers you," she says.
Bah Humbug #2: "My father-in-law is so negative that it ruins any holiday we spend with him. His constant complaining puts me in such a bad mood," Chloe, 27, Cleveland, OH
Make Your Season Bright: Don't personalize bad behavior. There's a lot of pressure for everyone to be "merry and bright" over the holidays but the truth is that unless the Debbie and Daryl Downer's of the world get a seasonal lobotomy, they are likely going to say or do something to bring someone down. The key is to stop going into the same situation expecting them to behave differently.
"Expectations play a significant role in how much things like this affect us. Going into the situation every year, expecting that things will be better and that your father-in-law will not be such a downer [will let you down]. You probably put in the extra effort to make him happy so you end up taking it personally when he is not," says Seti, who advises that you stop personalizing the situation and accept that his personality is what it is and has nothing to do with you.
"Go into the holiday expecting that your father-in-law will be negative and remind yourself not to take it personally. Then, every now and then, when he does or says something nice, you will be pleasantly surprised instead of let down by all of the negativity," she adds.
Bah Humbug # 3: "My mother-in-law is always making passive-aggressive comments about me. She throws a zinger out every chance she gets—but always with a smile, of course," Layla, 32, New York, NY